The global market for Augmented Reality (AR) products is predicted to swell over 75% to $50 billion by 2024, according to Global Market Insights research.

Despite this fact, the concept of AR still sounds like a futuristic technology to some. If you fall into that mindset, AR may also sound too complicated to implement. Neither of these statements is true, so keep reading. We’ll walk you through the basics of AR, as well as how it can be applied to customer and field service use cases.

At SightCall, we believe that transformative technologies, like AR, must be bridges to innovation and not barriers. We’ve developed an AR-powered video platform that is easy to integrate, adopt, and apply for immediate ROI.

AR Integration without the Costly Overhead

AR is a technology that imposes computer-generated images onto the reality in front of us, providing new context, instructions or enhancements to the things we are viewing in real-time.

AR is being used all around us and has been present for at least 20 years. Especially prevalent during sporting events, you may have noticed AR in the Summer Olympics, when it’s used to identify swimmers in their lanes. On cell phones, AR is a popular feature in Snapchat for users to put a fun, interactive filter on their photos. At retail, home improvement suppliers are using AR technology to help you visualize your living space with a fresh coat of paint. If you still believe AR is the future, the future has arrived.

Today, nearly all companies are working on a way to integrate AR into their technical processes. Often this requires glasses or headsets that can be costly, requiring training, maintenance, and deployment. While these tools are effective, they can only be applied internally and have many limitations.

SightCall was early to join the wearable AR trend, back when the first version of the Google Glass was released in 2012. Since then, we have continued to invest in optimizing software and wearables user experiences with several platforms. Despite interest in wearable AR, adoption in the field is low, with few people having access to these services.

To remove barriers to adoption, SightCall’s AR technology takes advantage of a tool your employees and customers already own – a smartphone. This allows companies of any size to deploy Augmented Reality across their organization within an easy-to-use app environment.

Augmented Reality wearables and glasses show slow growth but are projected to increase in coming years[/caption]

AR as Tool to Transform the Customer Experience

There are two common themes among all of SightCall’s clients – innovation and customer satisfaction. Each company we work with cares about finding innovative technologies that will benefit their customers by transforming the way they interact. We believe AR is the tool with the most power to disrupt these interactions in a positive way.

One example of how AR can change customer experiences is to imagine installing a new cable box in a home. Traditionally, a technician comes to your home to perform this task for you. With SightCall AR, the customer can perform this task alone. They hover their phone camera over the cable box and our app recognizes the cable box, guiding the customer through the installation process by showing each step on their screen. If for any reason the customer cannot complete the task on their own, the app gives them a direct line to contact customer service and initiate a live video call to complete the installation.

When used thoughtfully, AR is a tool that can enrich customer experiences and add value to your brand.

AR to Support Field Service Technicians

In a world powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), our technologies and products are constantly changing. This means that today’s workforce needs modern tools that will help them interact with the constant new challenges that they face in supporting the installation, configuration, diagnosis, and troubleshooting of your products.

AR is the next evolution of on-the-job assistance, giving field service technicians and remote experts the ability to see how to resolve a problem, rather than having to thumb through an extensive manual, wait for another technician, or call for help. In one study by General Electric, line-of-sight instructions provided by AR technology improved a worker’s performance by 34% on the first use.

As we look at the trend of a growing shortage of skilled manufacturing employees in the workforce, it’s easy to see that AR can be a solution for closing that gap by equipping workers with the on-the-spot guidance they need to complete a task properly the first time.

Using SightCall’s AR-powered video assistance, workers can complete tasks that may have previously required a higher skill level, and they can complete them with accuracy. Technicians and agents can also include customers in the process by providing them with remote guidance. This reduces errors, truck rolls, and the time it takes to handle a repair.

If workers encounter an issue that the AR feature cannot fix, our SightCall app allows them to contact remote experts to share their experience via video and communicate in real-time to work towards problem resolution.

The Future is Here

By reimagining how your organization relates to your customers and technicians, there are significant bottom-line values to be gained from AR implementation.

If you’re interested in learning more about SightCall’s AR-powered video technology, contact us to schedule a demo.